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Quinoa Cakes with Lemon, Olive, and Parsley

Quinoa Cakes with Lemon, Olive, and Parsley

OK, I give in. Y’all want healthy, so I’ll give you healthy. For a little while at least. But next week? Let’s just say next week I have a different kind of cake in store for you. But maybe if you eat enough of these quinoa cakes in the meantime you can justify the splurge.

To be honest we eat a lot of meals like this. Part grain, part flavorful mix-in, typically vegetarian, and probably meant to be served as an appetizer but we eat it as our main dish anyway.

It’s kind of our thing.

These particular little parcels pack a potent punch. Salty olive, tart lemon, bright parsley. And quinoa. Which, if you haven’t tried it yet, is all kinds of awesome. It’s a super grain, protein packed and slightly crunchy, with a delightfully nutty flavor. And did I mention healthy? Call it my gift to you.

Quinoa Cakes with Lemon, Olive, and Parsley

Yield: about 1 dozen cakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups raw quinoa
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup coarsely chopped green or kalamata olives
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Place dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cool water for a few minutes.

Place quinoa, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for about 25 t0 30 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender but still has a bit of crunch left (al dente, I suppose!). Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. You’ll need 3 cups of cooked quinoa for the recipe.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together onion, garlic, cheese, olives, parsley, lemon zest, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and cooled quinoa. Add eggs and stir until quinoa is evenly moistened. Add water to thoroughly moisten mixture. Quinoa should be slightly wet so it doesn’t dry out during cooking.

Scoop out mixture by the 2 tablespoonful. Use clean, moist fingers to form into a patty. Alternatively, we found that using one of our 2-cup plunger measuring cups, lightly oiled and set to about 1/4-cup capacity. Fill and compact the quinoa into the cup, then simply pop the cake out and right out and into the hot skillet. Much easier and the cakes held together much better.

In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat olive oil. Add four to six patties to the hot pan (or as many as you can fit without overloading). You’ll need a bit of room to successfully flip them.

Cook on each side until beautifully browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Medium-low heat helps insides cook at an even pace. Remove browned cakes to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining quinoa mixture.

Quinoa mixture will keep, uncooked and covered in the refrigerator for a few days. Just prior to serving, cook as directed and serve hot.

From Super Natural Everyday via Joy the Baker.

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56 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I love everything about these little cakes!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 10:06 am

    beautiful presentation and these look so good! :) ew, healthy! haha just kidding :)

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

    These cakes look fantastic! I recently made a similar recipe to this, but mine didn’t include olives – I will definitely have to do that next time, it sounds really delicious! :)

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I really need to start eating more food like this – healthy, tasty and full of goodness. It looks delightful!

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 10:35 am

    These look fantastic, and like such a healthy alternative. I’m always looking for creative ways to use more exotic grains in my diet!

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Now THIS is a cake I’ll eat. 40 of ‘em.

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Ah yum, anything with lemon will win me over. These look lovely and delicious!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Absolutely lovely!

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Love, love, love the addition of olives! There is nothing better than an olive lemon combo. Making my grocery list now and just added the ingredients I need to make these- thanks!

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 11:47 am

    These look so delicious! I adore quinoa.

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    these look like just the healthy sort of thing we need to be eating right now. I’m pinning it!!

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    This looks just amazing! I love quinoa but have never tried anything like this, although quinoa cakes seem to be popping up all over my pinterest boards… I think I’d better try it!

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    These look amazing! I am totally trying these!!

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I love little cakes like these. I’ve made them with all sorts of different grains, but I LOVE ones made with quinoa. All the flavorings in yours sound delicious :D

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Perfect looking little cakes. Hope your 2012 is off to a great start.

    Reply

  16. 16
    Chelsea Ross
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Do they taste eggy?

    Reply

    • Posted On January 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      Not really. The egg is mostly a binder. Yes, you’re going to taste it a bit, but it doesn’t taste like a fritatta or an omelet if that’s what you’re wondering. :)

  17. 17
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    These look great! I have see many quinoa cake recipes but this one has definitely caught my eye…can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    I’m a HUGE fan of quinoa, and of appetizers-turned-main dishes! The flavors in this are some of my favorites. Bring on the cake next week, though!

    Reply

  19. 19
    Lily
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    These look lovely! I’ll definitely be trying them this weekend!

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    oh, yum! and I have one of those plunger things….off to check the pantry (already have the quinoa!)

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I have seen these before, but yours got my attention with the lemon, olives and parsley! Yum:-)

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Yum! What cute little cakes! I would definitely eat a few of these up for dinner!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Looks good! I printed this out to give it a try. I have a ton of quinoa in the pantry, that I need to use.

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On January 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    i have literally a boatload of grains in storage – this may just be the thing to do w/ some of it!

    Reply

  25. 25
    Posted On January 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    These look so good – virtuous and delicious! I never really cook with quinoa as I’ve got so many recipes for couscous and bulghar wheat but it looks lovely…might have to make it my NY resolution to try!

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On January 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for this, something healthy and vegetarian which my partner might even like!!

    Reply

  27. 27
    Posted On January 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I’m all over these little cakes! I just printed out the recipe so I can try them soon, since I’m trying to find more ways to use whole grains creatively.

    Reply

  28. 28
    Posted On January 8, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Hehe, honestly I’m not into healthy either maybe because of the label makes it seem boring. I love this little cakes, they’re so cute. I popped over to check out the plunger because I was going to ask you how you got your cakes so perfect…did you see the “original” price on them? Makes me laugh!

    So I have a bag of quinoa and I have never cooked with them before…this might be the thing I have to try first! Thanks!!

    Reply

  29. 29
    Posted On January 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Oops, forgot to ask how many little cakes does this recipe make?

    Reply

    • Posted On January 9, 2012 at 10:06 am

      I don’t remember exactly. Enough for dinner for two and lunch the next day? They are surprisingly filling!

  30. 30
    Trisha
    Posted On January 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Just made these for dinner. Wow!!! They are delicious! Even my 2-year old loves them. Can’t wait to try have them for breakfast with an egg-over-easy on top. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thank you!

    Reply

  31. 31
    Posted On January 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    We eat like this, too! Add this on top of a salad and we’re good. I love little fried quinoa cakes. Heidi (101cookbooks) got me addicted, but I can’t wait to try your variation :)

    Reply

  32. 32
    Posted On January 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    The olives and other ingredients really take this quinoa to a great place.

    Reply

  33. 33
    hmama
    Posted On January 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Would you recommend serving these with a sauce? And if so, what kind, tomato?
    Thanks!

    Reply

  34. 34
    Posted On January 9, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Looks delicious! And lucky me, I have all the ingredients for this — going to try it out this evening!

    Reply

  35. 35
    Posted On January 10, 2012 at 12:13 am

    These look utterly delicious…I think this would be a lovely lunch recipe.

    Reply

  36. 36
    Posted On January 10, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I love quinoa cakes! I have also used a small cookie scoop to make balls then baked off a sheet of them. They’re great dipped in a chipotle or basil aioli for a snack or passed app.

    Reply

  37. 37
    Posted On January 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Looks great and healthy too! I’m going to make these and NOT tell my family what is in them until after. They’ll fall for it, I know it!

    Reply

  38. 38
    Posted On January 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I’ve wondered about quinoa cakes and I love the flavors in yours. So pretty!

    Reply

  39. 39
    Jessica
    Posted On January 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I made these this afternoon without the olives, but only because I didn’t have any hand. It’s a really great pantry/ staple-fridge-item dish, in that most of the items are things that I tend to have on hand anyhow. Since I didn’t have the olives and was worried that they might need a bit more flavor, I added a small amount of minced hot peppers and a bit extra salt. It was very tasty!

    Reply

  40. 40
    Posted On January 12, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Ive recently made delicious potato cakes but these actually look even better!! And yes healthy too..;) saved the recipe!!

    Reply

  41. 41
    Posted On January 13, 2012 at 7:00 am

    They look delicious – I love quinoa, but what an exciting way of cooking with it…

    Reply

  42. 42
    Posted On January 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    These look awesome – quinoa is one of my absolute favorite foods!

    Reply

  43. 43
    Posted On January 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I just made these and while they taste delicious, there was absolutely no way they were sticking together and staying cakes, even well-moistened, even in a ring mold in the pan. I ended up just toasting the whole mixture and enjoying it anyway, but how on earth did you get them to turn out like that?

    Reply

    • Posted On January 16, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      We packed them pretty firmly into the measuring cup. You could also try adding another egg if you feel it’d help the quinoa stick together.

    • Camille
      Posted On February 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      I had the same trouble, but found tightly packing the mixture into the measuring cup and using two spatulas to flip them worked well. It took some practice though… Is there a binding alternative to eggs? I would like to make these for my in-laws but they are vegetarians. These little cakes are yummy!

    • Cindy
      Posted On March 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      I just made these tonight and they held together fine for me, though I was very careful as I flipped them. I actually didn’t add the 2 TB of water at the end, my mixture seemed pretty wet. I thought my quinoa was pretty wet when I added it, so maybe it was that my mix was pretty moist. I thought they were good and will make them again.

  44. 44
    Posted On January 16, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    These little cakes look amazing! who would have thought you could do that with quinoa? – very clever!

    Reply

  45. 45
    Becky Oliver
    Posted On January 21, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Lindsay,

    Congratulations! You mom just told me to take a look at your blog! You are so talented! Very excited for your book to come out. My husband CJ is a cookie dough lover, so we will be sure to order one!

    Reply

  46. 46
    Posted On February 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    i’ve been dreaming about these forever and i finally got them together tonight. they were great, and more filling than i thought they’d be. thanks so much!

    Reply

  47. 47
    Lanie
    Posted On February 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Just made these. They are super good. I feel like they need a sauce of sorts–might try a yogurt sauce

    Reply

  48. 48
    Posted On May 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Quinoa, olives and lemon – a delicious combination. Thank you so much, will be trying these soon.

    Reply

  49. 49
    Missy
    Posted On June 8, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Made these for dinner and they were DELICIOUS. I am not a parsley fan so I subbed chopped spinach (just to make them even healthier and *more* packed with vitamins, you know…). I didn’t have Parmesan on hand so I used crumbled feta, which was perfect with the kalamata olives! And finally, I popped them in a mixture of breadcrumbs, toasted sesames, salt and pepper before I cooked them (I was concerned they wouldn’t hold together)- the result was crispy and delicious. This is a keeper!

    Reply

  50. 50
    Susan S. Johnson
    Posted On October 12, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Instead of frying, I plan to bake in a sprayed muffin tin.

    Reply

  51. 51
    tamara
    Posted On March 8, 2013 at 10:22 am

    These are phenomenal. My family makes them all the time and freezes them in batches. Thank you for the recipe.

    Reply

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